Chem Explorers

The Versatile Element: Exploring the Uses and Toxicity of Bromine

Bromine: The History, Properties, and Uses

Bromine is a red-brown, volatile, and non-metallic element that is located in the third period and group 17 of the periodic table. The element has the symbol Br, and its chemical formula is Br2.

It is the only non-metallic liquid at room temperature and is highly corrosive. In this article, we will explore the discovery of bromine, its isotopes, properties, and uses.

Bromine Definition and Chemical Formula

Bromine is classified as a halogen element, and with atomic number 35, it is located below chlorine and adjacent to iodine in the periodic table. Its chemical formula is Br2, composed of two Br atoms that form a molecule.

Bromine is highly reactive, with strong oxidizing and dehydrating properties. It has a boiling point of about 58.8 degrees Celsius and a melting point of -7.2 degrees Celsius.

Bromine Isotopes

Bromine has two isotopes, Br-79 (50.69%) and Br-81 (49.31%). Both isotopes are stable and non-radioactive, with Br-79 being the more abundant one.

Radioactive isotopes of bromine have not been reported, and this fact makes bromine an element with fewer environmental risks during handling.

Bromine Discovery

The discovery of bromine can be credited to two chemists from different countries that made significant contributions to the knowledge of the chemistry of bromine. First, in 1825, Antoine-Jerome Balard discovered bromine while working at the University of Montpellier in France.

He named the element after the Greek word ‘bromos,’ meaning stench since the element has a foul odor and caused him discomfort during its discovery. The second person that played an important role in the discovery of bromine was Carl Lowig, who also had independently isolated the same element from the brines of Kreuznach, Germany.

Bromine Properties

Bromine is a reddish-brown liquid at room temperature and is highly reactive with strong oxidizing and dehydrating properties. It is corrosive to metals, and skin contact with the element can cause severe burns.

Bromine has a higher density than water, which means it will sink in water. The element’s reactivity leads it to extract hydrogen from compounds, converting them into hydrogen bromide, such as when it reacts with hydrocarbons.

This process makes Bromine a good reagent for analytical chemistry, particularly in organic compounds’ detection.

Bromine Uses

Bromine is widely used in various industries due to its reactivity and highly corrosive properties. It is a key raw material in the production of a wide range of chemicals such as flame retardants, pesticides, drugs, and more recently, certain components in rechargeable batteries.

Bromine has been used in agriculture as a fertilizer and in photography as a key component in making photographic paper. In the medical field, bromine compounds are used as anticonvulsants and sedatives, and in veterinary medicine, the element is used as a disinfectant.

Bromine has been used as a disinfectant, especially in pools and hot tubs. It has been observed to be effective against bacteria and viruses, and its water-soluble properties make it an ideal choice disinfectant.

In conclusion, Bromine is a unique element that has played an important role in various industries. Its discovery and properties paved the way for its wide use in the chemical industry, agriculture, and healthcare.

Moreover, due to its high reactivity, bromine can be highly toxic and corrosive, thereby cautioning us about containing the element appropriately.

Bromine Identification

Bromine has an atomic number of 35, which makes it the third in the halogen family and the fifth in the period 4 of the periodic table. Its CAS number is 7726-95-6.

Bromine belongs to the block p because it has valence electrons that fall in the p-orbital of the electron configuration. In this section, we will explore the properties of Bromine in depth, which includes general properties such as mass and molar mass, magnetic, chemical, and physical properties.

Bromine Properties

General Properties

Bromine has a relative atomic mass of 79.904, while its atomic mass is 79.904 amu. Its molar mass is 79.904 g/mol.

The element exists in molecular form as Br2 in its natural state.

Physical Properties

Bromine has a distinct red-brown color that fades upon exposure to light to a yellow-hued liquid. It has a strong and irritating odor that resembles that of chlorine’s smell.

Bromine has a melting point of -7.2C and a boiling point of 58.8C. The density of the element is greater than water, which means that it sinks in water.

The density of Bromine is exactly 3.1028 g/cm3, while its specific gravity is 3.12 if measured in standard conditions.

Magnetic Properties

Bromine has a diamagnetic property of the second order, ideal for the magnetometer balance testing. The mass and molar magnetic susceptibility of Bromine, respectively, are -3.2×10^-9 m^3/kg and -0.040×10^-9 m^3/mol.

The Volume magnetic susceptibility of the element is -0.0130 x 10^-3.

Chemical Properties

Bromine is a highly reactive compound because it is an oxidizing agent. The element can react with various compounds like hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, and organic acids, to mention but a few.

Bromine has a wide range of oxidation states from -1 to +7, with the most common being -1, +5, and +7. Its Lewis dot structure is characterized by one electron in the 4s orbital, three electrons in the 4p orbital, and one lone electron on the bromine atom.

Due to its high reactivity, Bromine can burn in the presence of organic compounds and emit in this way a greenish-yellow flame. Bromine is highly reactive with metals like sodium, magnesium, and aluminum, reacting to form the corresponding bromides.

Bromine has one significant property, the oxidizing agent, due to its electronegativity, which means it can attract electrons towards itself. This property also makes Bromine a strong acid in water, releasing protons H+ ions, which proves its oxidizing nature.

Applications of Bromine

Bromine has many applications in various industries. In agriculture, it is used as a pesticide and fertilizer.

In the chemical industry, Bromine is used to manufacture dyes, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and flame retardants. One of Bromine’s common applications is its use as a flame retardant in plastics, such as electrical products that could catch fire and destroy property or endanger life.

Bromine’s flame retardant property is due to its ability to impede combustion by removing hydrogen from hydrocarbons and replacing them with flame-resistant bromine substitution groups.


In a nutshell, Bromine is a chemical element with a variety of properties, including physical, magnetic, and chemical properties. It is a highly reactive halogen element that can react with different organic and inorganic compounds, making it useful in various industrial applications.

It is important to take extra care while handling Bromine because of its corrosive properties and its propensity to burn in the presence of air and flammable compounds.

Bromine Uses

Bromine is a versatile chemical element that has been used in various industries, including agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing. It has unique properties that make it a valuable component in many products.

In this section, we will discuss the different uses of Bromine, including its industrial applications, food and beverage additives, and other various uses.

Industrial Uses

Bromine is widely used in the chemical industry to manufacture different compounds and chemicals. It is used in the production of dyes, agricultural products, water sanitizers, and insecticides, among others.

Industries that require the use of Bromine include textiles, plastics, petroleum, and electronics. It has also found use as chemical intermediates in pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

One of the significant applications of Bromine is in the production of flame retardants, an important safety feature in materials that may catch fire. Bromine’s particular characteristic as a flame retardant, which offers superior resistance to fire, has made the element essential in plastic and textile manufacturing.

In agriculture, Bromine is used as a pesticide and a fertilizer. It is also used as a disinfectant in water treatment plants, pools, and spas, where it works effectively against bacteria and viruses.

Bromine also functions as an important component in the manufacture of compounds used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Food and Beverage Additives

Bromine has found applications in the food industry as an ingredient in food and beverage additives. One of its most common use is as an emulsifier used in beverages and dairy products to make them smooth and uniform in texture.

Brominated vegetable oils (BVOs) is a neoteric substance used in the manufacturing of food and beverage additives that are used in citrus- and strawberry-flavored beverages. BVOs improve the beverage’s ability to spread evenly and preserve the flavor of the beverage.

Other Uses

Bromine is also used in making halon fire extinguishers, which are efficient and effective, especially in certain situations like a computer room or operations centers where water may not be effective. It is employed in making halons because of its excellent ability to put out a fire and efficient suppression properties.

Zinc-bromine batteries are another application of Bromine, and they are known for their high energy density and long cycle life. The batteries are used in large-scale storage facilities for energy or commercial settings and also finding other uses such as in residential solar-power systems.

The unique features of the batteries make them a suitable and efficient solution in energy storage systems.

Bromine Toxicity

Bromine can pose a considerable health risk, and it is important to observe proper care and safety measures while handling it. Bromine is readily absorbed by the body when inhaled, ingested or even with contact with the skin.

The concentration of Bromine gas in the atmosphere is governed primarily by the concentration of chlorine and is highly reactive. Hence, accidental consumption or inhalation or skin contact of Bromine should be avoided.

Exposure to high levels of Bromine can cause severe respiratory distress, as well as damage and infection to skin and eyes. Bromine toxicity can lead to deep-tissue chemical burns that take a long time to heal, and it can also cause severe lung problems when inhaled.

Prolonged exposure to Bromine fumes can result in disorders of the central nervous system as well as a disturbance in the metabolism of the bloodstream. Potassium Bromate is another harmful compound that can be formed from Bromine, found in some commercial food preparation processes.

The compound has been identified by the International Agency for Research in Cancer as a potential human carcinogen.


Bromine is an essential chemical element that is utilized in various industries, including agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing. It offers unique properties that have made it a valuable component in many products.

However, it is essential to take proper care and safety measures while handling Bromine. Access to emergency services and protective gear is important for ensuring safety in industrial settings.

Bromine is a potent hazardous substance, and it is important to be aware of all safety protocols for the prevention of toxic effects in people and the environment.

Interesting Facts

Bromine has a rich history and interesting modern applications that make it an intriguing element to study. In this section, we will delve into historical uses of Bromine, its modern applications, and the cost associated with this unique element.

Historical Uses

One fascinating historical use of Bromine can be traced back to the Phoenicians and their production of Tyrian purple, a prized purple dye. The purple dye was derived from the Murex, a species of marine snail.

The process involved extracting a sticky fluid from the Murex and exposing it to sunlight, causing it to change color. This fluid contained a bromine compound called 6,6′-dibromoindigo, which was responsible for the vibrant purple hue.

These purple textiles were highly valued and sought after during ancient times, often used by royalty and aristocracy. The Phoenician city of Tyre became renowned for its Tyrian purple production, and the dye was associated with wealth and luxury.

Modern Uses

In modern times, Bromine finds a range of applications in various industries due to its unique properties. One important modern use of Bromine is in the production of 1,2-dibromoethane (EDB), which is now primarily used as a lead scavenger in gasoline.

EDB helps to reduce the buildup of lead deposits in engines and exhaust systems, thus improving fuel efficiency and reducing harmful emissions. However, due to environmental concerns related to lead exposure, the use of EDB in gasoline has declined in recent years.

Another interesting modern use of Bromine is as a flame retardant in electronics and textiles. Bromine-based flame retardants are effective in slowing down or stopping the spread of fires, making them essential components in many household items like mattresses, upholstery, and electronic devices.

Bromine-based flame retardants play a crucial role in improving fire safety standards, especially in areas where fire risks are high, such as commercial buildings and aircraft interiors.


The cost of Bromine is influenced by several factors, including supply and demand dynamics, production costs, and market conditions. The price of Bromine can vary over time, and it is primarily driven by factors such as changes in consumption patterns and production capacity.

China is the largest producer of Bromine, accounting for a significant portion of global production. The cost of Bromine can fluctuate due to changes in Chinese regulations, which can impact production and supply.

Additionally, geopolitical factors and global economic conditions can also influence the price of Bromine. Furthermore, the cost of Bromine can be affected by the demand for its derivatives and applications in various industries.

The demand for Bromine-based flame retardants, for example, can have a direct impact on the price of Bromine. It is important to note that the price of Bromine is not publicly available in the same way as other commodities, such as oil or gold.

The pricing of Bromine is usually negotiated between buyers and sellers based on contractual agreements and market conditions. Therefore, tracking the exact price of Bromine can be challenging for the general public.


Bromine has a fascinating history, with the production of Tyrian purple by the Phoenicians being just one example of its historical uses. In modern times, Bromine finds diverse applications, ranging from its use as a lead scavenger in gasoline to its role as a flame retardant in various industries.

The cost of Bromine is influenced by factors such as supply and demand dynamics, production costs, and market conditions. Although the exact price of Bromine is not publicly available, it can vary over time according to these factors.

Overall, Bromine continues to be an intriguing element with a rich history and valuable applications in the modern world. Bromine, a versatile non-metallic element with a rich history and diverse applications, is an important element in various industries.

It is used in the production of flame retardants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and food additives, among others. However, caution must be exercised due to its corrosive and toxic nature.

The price of Bromine is influenced by factors such as supply and demand, production costs, and market conditions. Overall, Bromine’s fascinating properties and wide range of uses make it a topic worthy of exploration and recognition.


1. What are the main industrial uses of Bromine?

Bromine is used in the production of dyes, agricultural products, water sanitizers, insecticides, and pharmaceuticals. 2.

How is Bromine used in the food and beverage industry? Bromine can be used as an emulsifier and is found in additives like Brominated Vegetable Oils (BVOs) to improve the texture and flavor stability of beverages and dairy products.

3. What are some unique modern uses of Bromine?

Bromine is used as a lead scavenger in gasoline, as a flame retardant in electronics and textiles, and as a component in halon fire extinguishers and zinc-bromine batteries. 4.

Is Bromine toxic? Yes, Bromine can be highly toxic.

It can cause health hazards when accidentally consumed, inhaled, or in contact with the skin. Potassium Bromate, a compound formed from Bromine, is identified as a potential human carcinogen.

5. How is the cost of Bromine determined?

The cost of Bromine is influenced by factors such as supply and demand dynamics, production costs, and market conditions, and it can vary over time. 6.

What is the historical significance of Bromine? Bromine was historically used in the production of the valuable purple dye Tyrian purple by the Phoenicians, derived from the Murex snail.

7. Why is Bromine an important and intriguing element?

Bromine possesses unique properties and finds various applications in different industries, contributing to its relevance and interest in scientific and commercial fields.

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